June running – snowy relays to sweaty, sun-burnt long runs

June turned out to be quite the wild running month. I started the month off in injury-recovery mode, praying things would hold together and get me through a frigid, snow-flurry-filled Sawtooth Relay without letting down my team or suffering a major hamstring set-back, and ended the month with a much happier hamstring and the confidence and strength to enjoy some long runs back on the trails in the summer heat.

Some highlights:

  1. Sawtooth Relay – in spite of a brief scare the day before (hamstring cramped briefly after a shakeout run with my teammate/friend) I was actually able to push the pace with zero pain or tightness, even with the couple hours of cramped van riding between my two relay legs! Our team had a blast as we pushed through swirling snow, sideways rain, and (luckily small!) hail stones to reach the much-appreciated sunshine at the finish line.

    HSCC3933

    Went from getting pelted with half-frozen snow/rain to getting bombarded by hail and wind gusts. But at least it was warm enough for shorts on leg 2!

  2. New Oiselle singlet arrived. A small but fun highlight since I am a sucker for new running clothes. I can’t wait to fly in this sunset-glow design at my next race!  IMG_0270
  3. Return to trails! After a week of lowkey recovery after the relay I re-committed to my hamstring rehab and gradually tested my hamstring out on hillier, more demanding terrain. My final week in June included some long, hilly trail runs with no mid-run or post-run soreness, and enough confidence to enjoy the amazing trail views rather than constantly worrying about my hamstring.
  4. Managed a brief handstand balance with no body parts touching the wall! This one isn’t strictly running related, but did renew my motivation to continue consistent core and upper body strength work. The effect of strength and stability during easy running is less obvious, so it’s nice to have a more demanding test to see the results of all that flopping around on the yoga mat and getting dog hair all over my hands by doing pushups around the house.

Now it’s July and the trails are calling! I plan to spend as much time enjoying the singletrack as possible while using the lessons of March, April, and May to remind me to stay on top of pre/re-hab before little twinges take me back off the trails.

IMG_0303

Summer – the season for long runs and outdoor ice baths 🙂

Advertisements

So many potential summer events but no idea what to do…

I have a dilemma.

I really want to sign up for some summer races/rides as motivation and something to look forward to over the next few months, but I’m just not sure if it’s actually worthwhile.

I’m not confident that I’ll actually be able to stay healthy and do enough running workouts to really feel like racing is worthwhile, and I’m not sure if the for-fun style long rides that I’ve looked at as alternatives will really be that fun on my own – what if I end up alone in a crowd of people who are riding with friends? I might as well save the entry fee and just go for a long ride on my own some weekend. What I really want out of a long ride is the challenge, but also the companionship – I just want to get together with some crazy friends, go for a ridiculously long ride and then recover with ice cream, burgers, beer, and banter. But I have no crazy athlete friends here yet :-/

On the competitive side, I’d look at bike races but my bike is 30 years old and doesn’t even have true drop handlebars…and I don’t really feel like I have the technical skill to compete on the bike without terrifying those around me! Triathlons are appealing, but most of the nearby ones require wetsuits (don’t have one) and I have nowhere to train for swimming unless I want to pay for a gym membership.  Duathlons would be sweet as well, but again, there’s the whole issue of keeping my legs/feet healthy enough to complete the running portion. If I could trust that my current upwards mileage-tolerability swing would continue, I’d be set, but I haven’t exactly had a great history with that these last few years…

I think I may just be getting antsy to do some sort of competitive/athletic even since I haven’t done anything of that sort since my rather botched uphill road race way back in January before the Calf Troubles. I just want a free t-shirt and a bib number and some hard-earned post-race food, dang it! It’s been far too long and I miss it.

Little problems, but still…*sigh*